In recent years, automation has become embedded in businesses marketing plans; a Gartner survey looking at CMO spend in 2019 found that nearly a third of CMO budgets are now allocated to marketing technology.
This is true whether we’re talking about automation tools that help you to plan or schedule your marcomms activity, or tools that help to automate your content production.
Any industry sector can benefit from adopting a more automated approach to their marketing: streamlining production, fast-tracking reviews and approvals, and programming activity to ensure your marketing plan is executed on schedule.
For the financial services industry, there are some particular benefits to marketing automation, which might explain why martech solutions are being adopted at pace within the sector.
Here, we explore why that is, and what financial services marketers can achieve by automating their approach to marketing.
What is marketing automation?
What do we mean by marketing automation? Broadly, it refers to the automating of marketing processes. This tends to fall into two areas:
- automating the production of marketing materials and content, and
- automating the way marketing content and collateral is distributed
Into the first category fall automated workflow tools that make it easy to create, approve and publish marketing content. This type of workflow software enables document collaboration, online proofing and project management of all marketing projects on a single platform.
Some automated workflow tools take a smart template-based approach, enabling marketing teams and the businesses they work with to create on-brand content and documents at the click of a button, ensuring brand consistency and regulatory compliance boxes are ticked.
The second category covers tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, Salesforce and Eloqua – systems that automate the dissemination of marketing content. These might be automated email systems; tools that schedule social media posts; or ones that amplify your content by publishing it to external sites.
All of these marketing automation tools can help to get your material out into the market in a targeted way, maximising the efficiency of your content production, review and distribution processes. And in a content-driven world, where marketers can struggle to deliver the volume of collateral needed to keep your brand relevant, they can be a life-saver.
Why marketing automation?
Just from a quick exploration of marketing automation tools and their capabilities, it’s clear that automating your marketing processes has many benefits.
Automated workflow management and approval software can:
- Streamline marketing campaign management, allowing you to plan, review, approve and store all marketing materials via one online platform.
- Enable you to brief creative agencies online in real-time. This makes briefing quicker, clearer and easier, and minimises rework and agency fees.
- Make collaboration easier, whether this is between marketing colleagues in different locations – a particular bonus if your teams are working remotely; with compliance, sales and other business teams; or with external agencies.
- Ease compliance review and sign-off of marketing materials, making regulatory compliance for your marketing content efficient and pain-free.
- Minimise marketing administration. One of the marketing team’s main challenges is escaping the admin and repetitive tasks relating to content production, review and sign off. Marketing automation tools reduce this admin, enabling your team to focus on the tasks you’re best at.
- Reduce compliance administration – key if you’re a regulated business. Making compliance processes more efficient helps you get marketing materials approved and out the door faster.
- Improve brand consistency and compliance, by making sign off mandatory before material is published. Approved content can be locked down to eliminate non-brand compliant materials slipping through the net.
- Enhance your digital asset management, ensuring compliant approval and archiving of all marketing content materials.
- Make it easy to publish approved content. At the press of a button, you can publish approved documents automatically to your website or other third-party applications like your CRM system or document library.
- Automatically archive marketing materials, with full version histories, enabling you to comply painlessly with regulatory requirements.
Marketing automation – whether in the production, sign-off, publishing or dissemination of your materials – has huge benefits for marketing teams.
Why does automation particularly benefit financial services marketing?
There are several reasons why financial services marketers can see particular benefits from adopting marketing automation tools:
- Financial services firms are often regulated, adding a whole extra layer to the production, review and approvals process. A martech solution takes the stress out of publishing content in a regulated environment, ensuring materials are on-brand and their content is up to date and accurate.
- You can manage your entire range of marketing content – from digital content like emails, social media posts or webpages, through to the more traditional brochures, RFPs, bid documents and factsheets – via a marketing automation tool, ensuring comprehensive oversight and confidence that all your content has been through the right approval
- The highly-competitive nature of financial services, where traditional providers compete with digital disruptors for airtime and customers, means you’re under pressure like never before to deliver marketing content at pace.
Inefficient, manual and labour-intensive review and approval processes can slow you down. The online collaboration and closer working between internal teams and external agencies enabled by marketing automation tools minimises inefficiencies and helps you to get new products and services into the market faster.
Choose the right marketing automation solution for your business
If this quick insight into the benefits of marketing automation for financial services firms has inspired you to find out more, beware! All marketing solutions are not created equal, and if you want to ensure your proposal has the backing of your business, you need to make the right choices.
Comparing marketing automation tools can be a challenge (our blog on the topic has help and advice) – but get it right and you will reap the benefits of a more streamlined and efficient way to create, publish and share marketing content.
To find out more about Enable, Perivan’s market-leading marketing software, visit our website, or get in touch for a no-obligation chat.
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